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IDMA strongly reacts to report on price rise of 76 lifesaving drugs

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States that reports are not representative of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole

Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) has reacted to the recent reports on the price of lifesaving drugs, where it was stated that the price of 76 life saving drugs will go up due to the recent customs notification (Read news http://www.expressbpd.com/ article/pharma/latest-updates/price-of-76-life-saving-drugs-to-be-costlier-as-custom-duty-exemption-goes/209901/). IDMA’s release states that the statements made in these news reports are not representative of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.

SV Veerramani, National President, IDMA, said, “We have scrutinised the 76 Drugs mentioned in the above said notification for removal of NIL / Concessional duties and we understand that they have been selected by Government of India on the basis of availability of local manufacturing facilities. This being the case, providing customs duty exemption to this class of imported bulk drugs is not required.”

He further mentioned that customs duty on bulk drugs and intermediates were in the order of 110 per cent 10 years back and at that time the list of life saving drugs were prepared to bring down the cost of medicines. Now the Customs duty + CVD has been reduced to 8.2 per cent. This is not likely to impact the price of finished products in a big way, since bulk drug is only one part of the total price of formulations, but on the other hand provide a level playing field to local manufacturers.

Veerramani further said, “We observe that out of 76 Drugs as per the above Notification No.6/2016, only 15 drugs have Nil Duty whereas 61 drugs have a concessional duty of five per cent, meaning, only an increase of 2.7 per cent in customs duty in importing of the items, which will not have major impact on the finished product prices. Hence, there is no need for panic. Patients won’t be affected because of this.”

Removal of nil / concessional excise duty on imported bulk drugs wherein indigenous manufacturing is available is a right step taken by the Government of India. This will certainly create a level playing field for indigenous bulk drug manufacturers and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

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